Bombers kicker Castillo blames microchipped footballs for accuracy woes

One game into the 2024 season, and the CFL has a kicking controversy.

Winnipeg kicker Sergio Castillo took issue with the league’s chipped footballs Thursday night following the Blue Bombers’ season-opening 27-12 home loss to the Montreal Alouettes.

Castillo missed two of the three field goals he attempted in the game, from 38 and 40 yards out, as well as the only convert attempt.

Last season, the 33-year-old made 46 of 51 field goals he attempted, establishing a club-record 90.2 per cent accuracy rate.

The CFL has inserted microchips into its footballs to help generate real-time advanced statistics through Genius Sports, its data and technology partner.

But many CFL kickers, including Saskatchewan’s Brett Lauther, who is also the vice-president of the CFL Players Association, have said the chips negatively impact kicking accuracy.

Montreal kicker David Côté made both of his field goals (22 and 19 yards) but missed a convert.

Can the Alouettes repeat as Grey Cup champs in 2024?

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Duration 2:52

After shocking the CFL, fans and pundits with a surprise title in 2023, the Montreal Alouettes are betting that a cornerstone quarterback-coach duo, and the right mentality, can give them a chance to deliver an encore in 2024.